Marshfield receiver Jeff Allison hauls in the game-winning 43-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the Tigers’ 30-28 win over Wisconsin Rapids on Friday night at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids. (Photo by Paul Lecker/MarshfieldAreaSports.com)
Marshfield running back Riley Gebelein (23) gets a block from fullback Caleb Cline (48) for a long gain during the Tigers’ 30-28 win over Wisconsin Rapids on Friday night at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids. (Photo by Paul Lecker/MarshfieldAreaSports.com)
This story is sponsored by Dental Clinic of Marshfield
Video highlights of the game available at allmarshfield.com
By Paul Lecker
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – For the second straight week, the Marshfield football team needed a late comeback to salvage a victory.
Jeff Allison hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from Bo Howard with 36 seconds remaining to lift the Tigers to a 30-28 win over Wisconsin Rapids in a Valley Football Association South Division game Friday night at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School.
Rapids pulled ahead with two fourth-quarter touchdowns – the second on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jared Halbur to Hayden Biegel with 4:29 left following a Marshfield fumble.
After each team went three-and-out, Marshfield took over at its own 15-yard line with 2:15 remaining and trailing 28-24.
Following a sack and a two-yard run, Howard ran 12 yards, then connected with Riley Gebelein for a 4-yard pass on fourth-and-two to keep the Tigers’ hopes alive.
A pass interference call, followed by a 10-yard run by Tanner Dennis-Brown on a double reverse play brought Marshfield to the Rapids 48. Howard ran for 5 yards before hitting Allison deep for the game-winning touchdown pass.
Mitch Ott and Eric Seehafer combined for a sack and Brandon Baltus intercepted a pass as time expired to clinch the win.
Marshfield improves to 6-0 and 5-0 in the VFA South, remaining in a tie for first place in the conference with Stevens Point. Point shutout Neenah 13-0 on Friday.
The win comes a week after Marshfield scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to edge Oshkosh West 14-10.
“We watched and when they started go to a little bit more Cover-4, playing a deeper zone on us, I told Jeff talking to him on the sideline, ‘You are getting down the field and we are going to throw the ball as far as we can, I said just run, really fast,’” Marshfield coach Denny Goettl said. “(Offensive coordinator) Paul (Foegen) called our play and Jeff ran really fast and caught the ball. It was two kids making plays.”
Howard thought the reverse to Dennis-Brown, which was designed to be a pass, would be the go-to play on the final drive. As it turned out, the Tigers needed his arm to get the winning score.
“I knew we had that play still in the bag, the reverse pass, me and Trierweiler were open down the field, but Tanner took off and ran and I was a little worried after that,” Howard said. “Our offensive line gave me time and Jeff was beating that guy on the deep post all night. The linebackers were dropping straight back. Jeff went off the post and beat the guys deep.”
“The play was 22-slim and they were trying to get me in the middle because no one was in the middle,” Allison said. “They found me in the middle. (Coach) said to run hard and run our routes good.”
Marshfield put together a 16-play, 94-yard drive that took up the final 2:39 of the first quarter and first 3:24 of the second that ended with a 5-yard touchdown run by Riley Gebelein and gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers had another long drive to end the quarter (13 plays, 48 yards) that ended with a Brad Krueger 31-yard field goal with 49 seconds left in the half and put Marshfield up 10-0.
Marshfield held Rapids to 92 yards in the first half, but the Raiders figured things out in the second half to took it to the Tigers.
Ryan Duxbury ran eight times for 45 yards on the first drive of the second half and scored on a 16-yard touchdown to get the Raiders on the board.
Marshfield snapped back when Keiron Howlett returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards and Howard hit Ryan Trierweiler with a 28-yard touchdown pass on third-and-14 to make it 17-7.
After a three-and-out, Marshfield seemingly took control when Gebelein busted the first play after the Rapids punt for a 62-yard touchdown, giving the Tigers a 24-7 lead.
The momentum didn’t last long. Running back Garrett O’Neil hit Alex Berlyn on a 38-yard pass to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Duxbury with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
Marshfield punted after a three-and-out, and the Raiders drove 72 yards on 11 plays with quarterback Jayson Wiernik scoring on a 1-yard sneak to cut the Tigers’ lead to 24-21 with 7:10 remaining.
On Marshfield’s first play following the kickoff, Caleb Cline fumbled and Tyler Tesch recovered at the Marshfield 45. Duxbury, who had 148 of his 209 yards rushing in the second half, ran four times for 32 yards before Biegel’s touchdown reception gave Wisconsin Rapids a 28-24 lead with 4:29 left.
“They did the same kind of thing to us last year in Marshfield,” Goettl said. “We stuffed them in the first half and they started going off tackle a little bit more. It’s a great offense with some big backs and you can only hold them off for so long. We held on just long enough, and the biggest one was at the end when we held them and got the ball back.”
The ensuing kickoff could have changed the fate of the game. Marshfield called for a fair catch on the short kickoff and fumbled it, but a referee blew the whistle, killing the play. After a long discussion, the officials decided to call for a re-kick.
Marshfield failed to get a first down and turned it over to its defense, which held and got the ball back at the 15 with 2:15 to go, setting up the winning drive.
The Tigers play at Menasha next Friday and wrap up the regular season with a home game against Stevens Point at Beell Stadium on Oct. 12. Both games will be broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and online at wdlbwosq.com with pregame starting at 6:30 p.m.
Tigers 30, Raiders 28
Marshfield 10 0 14 6 – 30
Wisconsin Rapids 0 0 14 14 – 28
M – Riley Gebelein 5 run (Brad Krueger kick), 7:36.
M – Krueger 31 field goal, 0:49.
WR – Ryan Duxbury 16 run (Zach Bassuener kick), 6;33.
M – Ryan Trierweiler 28 pass from Bo Howard (Krueger kick), 5:09.
M – Gebelein 62 run (Krueger kick), 2:55.
WR – Duxbury 3 run (Bassuener kick), 0:25.
WR – Jayson Wiernik 1 run (Bassuener kick), 7:10.
WR – Hayden Biegel 12 pass from Jared Halbur (Bassuener kick), 4:29.
M – Jeff Allison 43 pass from Howard (pass failed), 0:36.
First downs: Marshfield 12; Wisconsin Rapids 19.
Rushing (att-yards): Marshfield 35-194; Wisconsin Rapids 51-248.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): Marshfield 7-17-129-0; Wisconsin Rapids 7-11-116-1.
Punting (No.-avg.): Marshfield 3-39.3; Wisconsin Rapids 3-34.0.
Fumbles (Total-lost): Marshfield 2-1; Wisconsin Rapids 3-0.
Penalties (No.-yards): Marshfield 11-77; Wisconsin Rapids 6-45.
Rushing: M, Riley Gebelein 21-140, Bo Howard 11-28, Caleb Cline 2-16, Tanner Dennis-Brown 1-10. WR, Ryan Duxbury 32-209, Garrett O’Neil 6-19, Logan Wimme 1-7, Zach Bassuener 1-5, Jayson Wiernik 7-4, Jared Halbur 2-2, Logan Boettcher 1-2, Tyler Tesch 1-0.
Passing: M, Howard 7-17-129-0. WR, Halbur 5-7-64-0, O’Neil 1-1-38-0, Wiernik 1-2-14-1, Bassuener 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: M, Dennis-Brown 4-54, Jeff Allison 1-43, Ryan Trierweiler 1-28, Gebelein 1-4. WR, Hayden Biegel 5-64, Alex Berlyn 1-38, Duxbury 1-14.
Fumble recoveries (defense): WR, Tesch.
Interceptions (defense): M, Brandon Baltus.
Records: Marshfield 6-0, 5-0 Valley Football Association South Division; Wisconsin Rapids 3-3, 2-3 VFA South.